- Jamie Wilkins
The Roaming Schedule
Scheduling our day can be tricky at best sometimes. Just when I feel as though we have landed on something that works, our toddler reaches a new stage of development, and we have to start over – again.
We have begun to use what I call a ‘roaming’ schedule. The basic structure gives our kids enough of an idea of what to expect without setting our time so rigidly that they become unglued. It also helps us to accommodate the schedules of other families for playdates and homeschool group activities. Our school work is set up in advance with enough buffer time to permit a few hours away about twice a month if needed.
We have divided our daily and weekly tasks into blocks that can be moved around as needed without dramatically changing our whole existence. Weekend days are somewhat separated but still a part of the bigger picture.
Monday through Friday we keep mornings for chores, playtime, summer activities, or schoolwork. The afternoons include work for mom, naptime for our toddler, and badge journal (link coming soon) time for our older daughter. Saturday is usually a family outdoor day. Sunday includes church in the morning and family games or a movie later in the day.
We have a general list of the tasks that must be completed during each week. Over the weekend our family discusses which day may be best for the upcoming activities. We then confirm or make arrangements accordingly. Since my husband’s work sometimes fluctuates a bit, it is helpful to see when he may desire to accomplish certain activities.
The tasks that do not require a specific time can fall around the scheduled playdates and appointments. The key for us has been taking a scope of what each week might look like and gauging if our hopes are realistic. Our days often become so full that by evening we are all exhausted. Gauging in advance has helped us think ahead to what is required by life (doctor’s appointments, etc.) and still have time to include everyone’s personal interest activities.
This also allows us to make a plan and then roll with whatever actually happens. If an event is cancelled, then we use that time to accomplish a ‘bonus activity (link coming soon).’ If we have to swap days, that is easily done knowing what other days in the week might be available.
Here is a rough idea of how we expect an average school day to operate. Sometimes we end up
with one block of time swapped for another, but by the end of most days we have visited each one.